Padmashri Dr. Robin Banerjee

"Think twice before kill an animal,think twice before you catch a butterfly,think you before you cut a tree, because it may be the last species of the world."

Biography

Robin Banerjee, born at Baharampur, West Bengal on 12th August 1908. Completed primary education at Santiniketan and completed medical degree from Calcatta Medical College, Kolkata. He went to Liverpool in the year 1934 and to Edinburgh in the year 1936 for higher studies. He joined the Royal Navy in 1937 at Liverpool. After the world war II he decided to come back to India. In the year 1952, he visited Assam with a Scottish team of doctors. Later in the same year he joined Chabua Tea Estate, Assam, as Chief Medical Officer, and later shifted to the Dhansiri Medical Association, Bokakhat as the Chief Medical Officer.

During a visit to Kaziranga National Park during 1950s, Banerjee fell in love with the wilds of Assam. Later he decided to settle down at Golaghat, near Kaziranga.

Banerjee’s first film on the Kaziranga National Park on Indian Rhinoceros) on Berlin TV in 1961 was one of the first widely distributed media on the park to Western audiences. It also garnered him international recognition as a wildlife film-maker.

Banerjee worked actively as an naturalist besides his film-making career. Well known and loved among the local community as "Uncle Robin", he donated lands for setting up the local school, and health camps. He was was the founder of the non-governmental organization Kaziranga Wildlife Society, which actively protects the interests of the park. His house in Golaghat is a tourist spot for wildlife lovers, and based on his will and testament, has been converted into a natural history museum and contains a large number of his photographs and paintings. It is named Uncle Robin’s Museum, containing natural history items from all over India (especially Kaziranga), and other personal collections of Robin Banerjee, including a set of toys from across the world that he collected.

He was awarded the Padmashree in 1971, an honorary Doctorate of Science from Assam Agricultural University (AAU) in 1991, and also an honorary Ph.D. from Dibrugarh University.

Robin Banerjee died at his residence on 6th August, 2008. The Golaghat district administration declared a half-holiday in memory of Banerjee.

Dr. Banerjee got several awards. Few of the them are Padmashree (1971), Honorary Doctorate of Science from Assam Agril University, Jorhat (1991), Honorary Ph.D. from Dibrugarh University(1994), ‘Prakiti Konwar’ from Prakiti (an NGO), Jorhat, Assam (2001) and Service to Society through individual excellence NECCL, Guwahati, Assam (2001)

Dr. Robin Banerjee altogether made 32 documentaries :

  • Kaziranga (50 min)
  • Wild Life of India (35 min)
  • Rhino Capture (30 min)
  • A Day at Zoo (45 min)
  • Elephant Capture (20 min)
  • Monsoon (20 min)
  • Nagaland (30 min)
  • Echidna, & On wild fowls (Australia)
  • Lake Wildness (35 min)
  • 26 January (India) (40 min)
  • Flying Reptiles of Indonesia (50 min)
  • Through These Doors (35 min)
  • Animals of Africa (50 min)
  • Underwater (50 min)
  • Peace Game (30 min)
  • Flowers of Africa (40 min)
  • Adventures of Newfoundland[disambiguation needed] (45 min)
  • Dragons of Komodo Island (35 min)
  • Underwater World of Snakes (50 min)
  • White Wings in Slow Motion (winner of the Madame Pompidou Award) (60 min)
  • The World of Flamingo (50 min)
  • Wild but Friendly (55 min)
  • Birds of Africa (45 min)
  • Dresden - (60 min)
  • My Nature (60 min)
  • Birds of India (50 min)
  • Wild Flowers of the world (45 min)
  • The Monarch Butterfly of Mexico (60 min)
  • Alaskan Polar Bear - (180 min)
  • In the Pacific (55 min)
  • Call of the Blue Pacific part I & II (45 min)
  • ISo They May Survive (40 min)